An eye-filling book which will lure non bird watchers with its beauty. Ornithologists- professional and amateur- will welcome a popular presentation of the world's bird families, including one species at least of each family- 700 birds in all. But those who hope that this will prove to be the all-comprehensive book for identification will find it somewhat frustrating. Old favorites may be missing -- or passing inclusion fail to point up the needed information to clarify a point at issue. But why quibble with a book that offers so much, that covers so wide a geographical range, that supplements the numerous other books that fill other needs. The use of the book is keyed in foreword and introduction, where nomenclature, classification, geographical distribution, size as related to illustration, details of evolutionary development -- and warnings as to man's disastrous impact on birds of the world- are presented succinctly. In the main the illustrations by Arthur Singer, specially commissioned for this book, are superb, the details accurate, the background material suggestive of locale and environmental factors. Again some will quibble over what may be a reproduction fault- in the quality of the reds and rose tones. But all in all, the book is a real achievement and endlessly fascinating.